Fushimi Inari-Taisha in Kyoto

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Domo arigato.
  • Senbon Torii at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari Shrine Senbon Torii In Kyoto

  • Romon Gate at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari Shrine Romon Gate in Kyoto

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

  • Wooden Votive Plaques Ema at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Wooden Votive Plaques Ema At Fushimi Inari Shrine

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha In Kyoto

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Complex In Kyoto

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Complex In Kyoto

  • Map of Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Map In Kyoto

  • Small Torii at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine Small Torii's

  • Senbon Torii at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Senbon Torii In Kyoto

  • Senbon Torii at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Senbon Torii In Kyoto

  • Sunshine at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Sunshine At Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine Complex

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha In Kyoto

  • Wishing Plates at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Wishing Plates At Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine In Kyoto

  • Pond at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari Shrine Pond In Kyoto

  • Torii Path at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Fushimi Inari-Taisha Torii Path In Kyoto

  • Senbon Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Senbon Torii Gates At Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

  • Chozuya at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Chozuya At The Fushimi Inari Shrine In Kyoto

  • Small Restaurant at Walking Path of Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Small Restaurant At The Walking Path Of The Fushimi Inari Shrine In Kyoto

  • Hill Climb at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Hill Climb At Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine Complex

  • Kitsune (Guard Fox) at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Kitsune (Guard Fox) Fushimi Inari Shrine In Kyoto

  • Entrance of Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Entrance Of The Fushimi Inari Shrine In Kyoto

  • Kitsune (Guard Fox) at Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto

    Kitsune (Guard Fox) Fushimi Inari Shrine In Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

Fushimi Inari Taisha (Fushimi Inari Shrine) is one of the most popular, well-known, impressive and memorable Shinto shrines in all of Kyoto. The shrine is famous for its endless arcades of thousands of vermilion torii gates along the 4km pathway up the sacred mountain Inari (233 metres). The pathway connects the main shrine with the inner shrine. Do not miss the great view over the city from the top of Inariyama.

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The head shrine of Inari represents app. 40000 Inari shrines throughout Japan. The shrine was dedicated to the gods of rice and sake and as the patron of prosperity in business. Btw each of the vermilion torii gates was a donation by individuals and companies. This tradition started during the Edo period (1603 - 1868). If you are interested to donate it will cost you "only" 1 million yen for such a gate. Many fox statues (kitsune), altars and fountains are visible all over the shrine complex. Foxes are considered as Inari's messengers of the gods (deities) with magical powers. If you look closely some of the foxes holding a key in their mouths. These are symbols of the keys for rice granaries (storehouses), which they have to protect.

  • Fushimi Inari-Taisha:
  • Opening Hours - whole year, 24 hours/day
  • Admission Fee - free

My tips for local activities

How about exploring the beautiful Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyoto on a hidden path with a local guide. Check out this page for more details about this unique experience.

History

Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Kyoto. Founded by the Hata family (Hata-no-Irogu) in 711. The enshrined deity of Fushimi Inari Taisha is called Inari Okami. During the Heian Period (794 - 1185) in 942 Fushimi Inari Taisha was promoted to the highest rank for Shinto shrines. The main shrine building (Honden) what you see today was constructed in 1499. Between 1871 and 1946 the shrine was one of government supported shrines (Kanpei-taisha). Since 1909 Fushimi Inari Taisha is designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. In 2011 the 1300th anniversary of its establishment was celebrated.

Location

Map of Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha is located in Fushimi-ku (ward) in Kyoto. It takes only a 5min train ride from Kyoto Station.
Address: 68 Fukakusa, Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Fushimi Inari Shrine?

  • 5min from Kyoto Station to JR Inari Station by JR Nara Line or
  • 2min walk from Fushimi Inari Station along Keihan Main Line

Sightseeing spots within the Fushimi Inari Shrine complex

Top:

Romon Gate - The gate, an Important Cultural Property, was donated in 1589 by daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 - 1598), a famous politician and general of the Sengoku period (1467 – 1615).

Honden - The main shrine building has the status of an Important Cultural Property. Honden was completely destroyed during the Onin War in 1468. The current structure is dating back to 1499. In total there are Five deities enshrined. The architectural style is called Uchikoshi Nagashi-zukuri.

Senbon Torii ("thousands of torii gates") - A 4km hiking trail starts with two parallel rows of over 5000 vermillion (ake) red torii gates. It is now the most famous feature of the shrine and walking through it gives many people a strong spiritual experience.

Okuno-in - The prayer building is located at the end of Senbon Torii. It is also known under the name Okusha Hohaisho. Okuno-in was built in 1499. The current structure is dating back to 1794.

Yotsutsuji intersection - Take a break on your hiking tour and enjoy the great view over Kyoto.

Inariyama (Mitsugamine) - After a longer hiking tour you will reach the top of the sacred Mt. Inari (233m above sea level). Take your time to enjoy the amazing view over Kyoto and the surrounding mountains. Inariyama consists of 3 peaks - Ichinomine (first and highest), Ninomine (second) and Sannomine (third). The deity Suehiro Okami is worshiped at Ichinomine. At Ninomine it is the deity Aoki Okami and at Sannomine the deity Shiragiku Okami.

Gozendani - The prayer area near the three peaks of Inariyama gets really crowded during the yearly Oyama-sai ceremony on the 5th of January.

Kiyotaki Falls - The waterfall is located near the Gozendani Hohaisho prayer area.

Teichoan - Take a break at the new rest area close to the Yashimagaike Pond. Teichoan was built in 2017. The Japanese architecture style is really traditional and the cafe inside worth a visit.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

January

Hatsu-mode (New Year's first shrine visit) (first days in January)
Thousands of visitors come to the shrine to pray for good fortune and a successful year.

Oyama-sai Mountaintop Ceremony (5th)
Every year on the 5th of January a festival is held near the top of Inariyama. Sake will be offered to nakakumizake kuten (deity) during the ceremony.

February

Hatsu-uma Festival - First Day of the Horse (9th)
It is the largest festival of the year at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It is dedicated to the fox deity Inari. A lot of rice cakes will be made during the festival and served to the visitors. People come here to pray for good luck for the year.

April

Sangyo-sai festival (lit. "Industry Festival") (8th)
This festival at the Fushimi Inari Shrine has the aim to ensure the prosperity of the nation's industry. On that day dances are performed and offerings are given in large quantities.

Inari-sai, Shinko-sai (20th)
Inari-sai is the most important shrine festival of the year. Portable Inari shrines are carried to the Shinto shrine area to receive blessings by the priest.

May

Aoi Matsuri in Kyoto (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri in Kyoto (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") in Kyoto (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

Nukiho Matsuri (rice harvest festival) (25th)
The ritual of rice harvesting is performed at Fushimi Inari Taisha by women wearing traditional Shinto dresses accompanied by sacred dances.

November

Hitaki-sai Festival (Fire festival) (8th)
During the festival at Fushimi Inari bundles of prayer sticks with written wishes from worshippers will be set on fire. These holy bonfires will then destroy the sins of people and to grant wishes for good health and prosperity. Roughly 100000 prayer sticks will be burned during this event. are sent from worshippers in every region of Japan wishing for their good health and prosperity.

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I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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